Blogging is something that I enjoy. Or at least, I enjoy it in theory. One of my favorite things about working with the kids is being able to share their stories with you and to invite you into the process of learning about and growing in and dealing with the things I’ve experienced through the kids. So why do I do this so sporadically? That, my friend, is a good question. Partially I think it’s because I work best with deadlines. As in “Oh crap, I have to do that thing tomorrow and if I don’t do it I’m going to look like a fool!” This is what truly motivates me. Then I read an article about blogging last week and one suggestion was to blog regularly – as in every Monday, or the first week of every month. Brilliant! So, I’m now going to blog every Wednesday. And if I don’t, you are going to email me. I even give you permission to be a little belittling. It may be the only way I’ll learn… On to the story for today.
The topic for today is another recurring character. David. This is the child that came to Proniño with me after much blood, sweat and tears in October (minus the blood and the sweat). If background info is needed you can read about him by clicking here and then here. Even though he had suddenly been stricken with a severe case of bashfulness around me, which meant that he often headed the opposite direction when he saw me coming, he was probably the highlight of my January trip. The first day I arrived at Proniño, all the kids were machete-ing the grass on the soccer field. Just watching him work so hard was encouraging – the fact that he was physically able and healthy enough to do this, the fact that he has enough discipline for hard work – I loved it.
But mainly it was his relationship with his family that got me. When he was on the street, they wouldn’t help him. Or, I should clarify, they wouldn’t help him anymore. I think they had tried. But 5 years of disappointment as he continually goes back to the street and continually lies about his drug use would lead to relational breaks in most families. Since he was too shy to talk to me, he filled me in on parts of his life through notes given in passing. He told me that he got to spend Christmas with them. The first time in so many years. And he borrowed my phone numerous times to call his sisters and his dad. He refused to talk about his Dad in October, so I assumed that something terrible had happened with him. When he asked to call his dad I asked him what had changed. Apparently, the problem was the shame that David felt in how disappointed his Dad was in the way he was living his life. But now, he says, his Dad is proud of him.
I was able to catch a little moment of one of his conversations with his sister, captured in this picture. I love the wrinkles by his eyes from how hard he was laughing at whatever she was saying. And at one point he was talking to her about how the molar that was hurting him had been fixed. I don’t know. I only talk about my molar’s with people that are a pretty regular part of my life! I love that he has their support in his life again.
During one of the conversations he handed me the phone and said that his sister wanted to talk to me. She thanked me over and over again for getting him to Proniño. She talked about how long they tried to do something, but nothing worked. And she talked about how happy she is and how proud of him she is.
As usual, the story isn’t quite over. I finally got him to sit down and talk to me on my last day. He talked to me about wanting to run away. He said that he didn’t want to go to school and that he missed the streets. I stayed calm and we talked about the things that he experienced on the street, and the things he would be going back to. We talked about his family and how proud they are of him. I told him that I think he’s a miracle. And we talked about all the things he can do with his life IF he’s not on the street. And now I wait and hope that these things have sunk in. That he’ll remember our conversation when he wants to run. And I ask for your prayers. Pray that he’ll remember all he has to live for. Pray that he’ll value his life and family enough to make GOOD decisions!
(To read more about David, click here.)